In this chapter we will see the main abilities, techniques and other aspects related to communication skills that sellers must normally have in order to sell their products.
They could be termed as communication techniques applied to sale: what attitudes and abilities we should have in order to be good communicators, what aspects we should take into account when dealing with the buyer, our degree of empathy, the use of certain psychological aspects to encourage the sale, the ability to give our customers confidence, the knowledge of the product that we are selling, etc.
Some of the effective sales techniques that we are going to see now are shown in the following infographic:
2.1. Understanding what the buyer wants
One of the main aspects in any type of sale is understanding what a buyer wants. Buyers must always get the feeling that they are being listened to. This way, we create an effective lasting way of communication with them.
[CC 2.0], Pixabay https://pixabay.com/photo-2288459/
Understanding what your customer wants, his/her wishes and worries, will give you the opportunity of offering the product that they really need, so it will be important to make an effort and know exactly the customer´s needs and to read between the lines the information transmitted by him/her. We have to bear in mind that any unmet need is a business opportunity. Thus, the customer will try to find products that meet those needs totally, or at least partially.
We should not start a business without knowing both our customers and their needs.
There are many ways of knowing what your customers need. Two or three simple questions can help you to know what your customers need so that you can help them.
2.2. Using psychology to engage the buyer
Every customer has a series of personal factors that influence the final purchasing decision of a determined product. One of this factors can be, for example, the previous consumption experience that the customer may have had with a similar product. Other factors may be the attitudes or preconceived ideas that a customer has about the product.
[CC 2.0], Pixabay https://pixabay.com/photo-535769/
However, there is a series of psychological actions or techniques that can be used to encourage the customer´s purchase, such as:
Make your customers feel unique and close to you by creating a personal connection.
Tell your customers some personal information about you. This way, you will be able to gain your customers´ confidence and, therefore, to sell your product..
Always keep eye contact. It is a way of showing self-confidence.
Always keep on smiling: your customer´s attitude will be much more relaxed.
Bear in mind that your products are of good quality, so you don´t need to insist too much that the customer buy them. In this sense, you must believe in your product 100% in order to transmit your enthusiasm to the customer.
It is also important to give only the information that the customers need about your product.
Remember that sense of humour is a good strategy; it is easier to close a deal when people feel relaxed rather than if they feel stressed.
In the infographic below, you will find some techniques to deal with different types of objections that you may find when selling your products:
2.3. Establishing trust with the buyer
Honesty when selling our products is also very important. If we or our product cannot help our customer, we must be honest and tell the client. If we lie, the customer probably will become aware and, even if we have made a sale, we will never have any other purchase from him/her. On the contrary, if we are honest, even though we do not sell anything at that moment, the customer will remember us as a trustworthy person from whom s/he may buy products in the future.
Recruiting new customers is estimated to cost six times more than retaining an existing one. Precisely because of that, it is so important to promote loyalty to our customers by being always transparent and honest.
Providing a good service is also important, both in pre and post sale, as well as establishing, if possible, a communication channel with customers to check if they are satisfied with the product.
2.4. Communicating in short
It is important not to waste our time in a possible sale that may not end successfully. Communication with our customers must be, as far as possible, quick and brief, only speaking when necessary.
It is always better that our customers tell us their concerns, needs and preferences rather than speaking too much.
When the sale has finally been made, we do not have to give further information that may endanger our sale: the best thing we can do is to switch to another topic and to speak about something else.
2.5. Acting on what the customer is saying
When making a sale, explain all the characteristics of the product to the customer and tell him/her that those characteristics will turn into advantages. You must be attentive to all the information given by the customer during the sale process, since you will be able to use this information to improve the sale of your product.
We suggest the following recommendations to influence the customer persuasively:
• Always show a positive attitude towards the sale.
• Keep the customer´s attention with demonstrations and visual examples, if possible.
• Watch closely the customer´s attitude, gestures and expressions while you are giving him/her information about your product.
• Try to focus on all the positive and affirmative aspects that may have been raised during the conversation.
• If there is any problem or objection, we have to redirect the situation.
• Avoid any pause that may distract the customer.
• Use solid arguments previously prepared for the sale.
• Try to close the sale with an order form to avoid that the customer may chage his/her mind.
• Always show yourself firm and do not hesitate at the moment of closing the purchase order.
In the infographic below, you will find some of these techniques:
2.6. Demonstrating subject matter expertise
Customers frequently are concerned about the product and ask questions. If you answer all of them clearly, you will have more possibilities of having a successful sale. This implies that you have to know the product perfectly and that you have to be able to answer any question about it. If you are familiar with all the product details, you will have important sale arguments.
2.7. Telling compelling stories
Remember what has been presented in the first chapter. Having a story about our product and telling it to the customer will provide us with a series of positive aspects, such as establishing trust with him/her, giving an extra value to the product, creating an emotional connection with the product, etc.
[CC-BY-SA 2.0], Flickr https://flic.kr/p/7bd3g8
2.8. Being socially active with target buyers
Although we will focus on this topic later on, it is highly important that you always have an active role on social networks, regarding the products that you want to sell.
By lis+-olaymaschetita - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=41241089
Once you have optimized your web pages and your personal profile, it is important to analyse the users´ interests on social networks. Then, you have to post frequently on the main social network sites: LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, on your blog, etc. Familiarize with using hashtags or tags in this type of publications. Remember not to publish only about your products, but also about topics you are interested in and which are related to your product. Play an active role in other networks and provide advise on those aspects that you master.
When you become accustomed to participate actively in social networks in which there are potential buyers and when the number of followers of your social network sites and profiles increase, you will be able to start promoting your products through the networks (for example, making a promotion for all those people who follow your public profiles on different social networks).
2.9. Personalising interactions
The appearance and use of all the communication tools typical of the web 2.0, has allowed a much more participative communication. This is changing the way we understand marketing and publicity. Even big companies are shifting from making only big advertising campaigns onto a more personal marketing based on the customer´s preferences, which are shown individually and personally on the web.
Thus, we have the increasing possibility of personalising interaction with the buyer by using the multiple tools available on the web, dividing our clients´personal data into segments and reaching them more personally. We have to consider the possibility of valuing different options to sell our products, or at least a product line, to measure.
2.10. Personal Branding
Personal branding is a personal development concept which is directly influenced by our products. It also makes our products different from the other commercial products.
[CC-BY-NC-SA 2.0], Flickr https://flic.kr/p/fP3PcP
When creating our own personal brand, specialisation is probably the most important aspect, because there is a big competence in all types of generic products.
Besides, creating a personal brand may take time, sometimes two or three years. Persistence in the use of our social networks is another important factor to achieve a successful personal brand.
To finish with, think about the following questions in order to define and improve your personal brand:
What are you going to offer to the market with your products?
What makes you different from other professionals?
What are you passionate about and how do you show it in your products?
What is the implicit story of your products?
In the infographic below, you will find some of the main steps to follow in order to create your own personal brand: